5 Steps to Academic Gratification

Martha Aboagye, ‘18

Talking to a group of freshmen about their BHSEC experience so far, I noticed a trend in their responses. About 95% percent of students said they felt they were doing okay, but not as well as they did in middle school. Below are some tips to help you increase your academic gratification.

  1. Just because you are rookie doesn’t mean you have to think like one.

Change is hard, and entering a new environment, you will feel intimidated. However, don’t let your lack of experience hold you back. Explore your options and try new methods to find which ones work for you. Don’t demand too much of yourself and welcome criticism from veteran students. Follow the example of very wise people like Plato and find someone to help you. In other words, find your personal Socrates. Learn from the best people around you. You may never be as good as they are, but with their support, you will do much better than you could have ever done on your own.

  1. Moderate the amount of time you spend reminiscing about the good old days.

Middle school was fun and easy, but comparing everything now to how things were in middle school is unwise. The stress at school doesn’t let up as you get older — the reason for it changes. Embrace high school and all its challenges. Constantly comparing it to middle school is fruitless.

  1. Spend less time dreaming and more time actually doing things.

Being ambitious is great, but saying or thinking about things is actually easier than doing them. How many times have you thought about doing something one way and then in practice, gone off in the opposite direction? You might not feel like doing something, but be persistent. Often, the difference between a successful student and poor one is diligence, not intelligence. If you didn’t get something right the first time, try a different approach. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t repeat it over and over again expecting a different result.

  1. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

Granted, you will feel the urge to ask your peers about their scores and/or how they are doing in school. Resist it. Comparing your work to others usually does not help you. If your results do not reflect the effort you put in an assignment, it will make you feel worse about it (unless of course you managed to outscore everyone). To feel really proud of your accomplishments, gauge how much effort and time you put into an assignment and whether doing things a little bit differently could have warranted a better outcome.

  1. Have interests and hobbies outside of school.

Engaging in activities outside of school goes a long way to ease the pressure school brings. If everything you do revolves around school and you are not doing as well as you had hoped to, you will feel more stressed out. However, pursuing other interests lets you have a safe haven to turn to.

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